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Cell. 1996 Jun 28;85(7):1149-58.

A dual-tropic primary HIV-1 isolate that uses fusin and the beta-chemokine receptors CKR-5, CKR-3, and CKR-2b as fusion cofactors.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Here, we show that the beta-chemokine receptor CKR-5 serves as a cofactor for M-tropic HIV viruses. Expression of CKR-5 with CD4 enables nonpermissive cells to form syncytia with cells expressing M-tropic, but not T-tropic, HIV-1 env proteins. Expression of CKR-5 and CD4 enables entry of a M-tropic, but not a T-tropic, virus strain. A dual-tropic primary HIV-1 isolate (89.6) utilizes both Fusin and CKR-5 as entry cofactors. Cells expressing the 89.6 env protein form syncytia with QT6 cells expressing CD4 and either Fusin or CKR-5. The beta-chemokine receptors CKR-3 and CKR-2b support HIV-1 89.6 env-mediated syncytia formation but do not support fusion by any of the T-tropic or M-tropic strains tested. Our results suggest that the T-tropic viruses characteristic of disease progression may evolve from purely M-tropic viruses prevalent early in virus infection through changes in the env protein that enable the virus to use multiple entry cofactors.

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